Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Pre-Session Forum with Wahiawa Representative Marcus Oshiro

Representative Marcus Oshiro will hold a Pre-Session Forum for residents of Wahiawa, Whitmore Village, and Poamoho (District 39) to discuss community issues and share ideas for upcoming legislation. Light refreshments will be served. Call 586-6200 with questions.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010
6 – 8:30 p.m.

Wahiawa District Park – Hale Koa Room

Teddy Bear World

I missed this when it first came out, but here's Rep. Tom Brower and Diane Ako at the "White House", in a feature on Diane's Honolulu Star-Advertiser blog "Small Talk". The event was the grand opening of Teddy Bear World, a stuffed animal museum in Waikiki.

West Maui Community Meeting

WHAT: Rep. Angus McKelvey (Lahaina, Kaanapali, Kapalua, Maalaea, Kihei, North Kihei) and Sen. Roz Baker (South and West Maui, Kapalua, Kaanapali, Lahaina, Maalaea, Kihei, Wailea, Makena) will co-host a community meeting to discuss priorities and ideas in advance of the 2011 legislative session. There will also be updates on projects in the West Maui and Maalaea areas.

WHEN: Thursday, December 2, 2010, 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.

WHERE: West Maui Kaunoa Senior Center

Makiki Town Hall Meeting

WHAT: State Representative Della Au Belatti and Council Member Tulsi Gabbard Tamayo will co-host a Town Hall meeting to discuss new ideas for bills before the start of the 2011 legislative session. The public is invited to attend with questions and comments for the lawmakers and to discuss significant issues to the community.

WHEN: Wednesday, December 1, 2010
6:00 p.m.

WHERE: Makiki Community Library
1527 Keeaumoku Street at Wilder Avenue
(ample parking at Makiki District Park)

WHY: While email and phone calls are an important way to communicate with elected state and city delegations, meeting and talking in person is one of the best ways for legislators to keep informed about issues that affect the neighborhood.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Who's who?

Not sure what your lawmakers look like? You can familiarize yourselves with their faces here, a PDF of all the 2011-2012 lawmakers elected this past November, including the seven freshmen House members. They are Ty Cullen (D), George Fontaine (R), Mark Hashem (D), Linda Ichiyama (D), Aaron Johanson (R), Daynette Morikawa (D), and Gil Riviere (R).

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Free medical screenings for all ages at 35th Annual Rell Sunn Menehune Surfing Competition at Makaha Beach

The Rell Sunn Education Fund has teamed up with the University of Hawaii’s John A. Burns School of Medicine to offer blood pressure screenings, eye exams, and glucose screenings as part of the 25th Annual Rell Sunn Menehune Surf Contest. Information will also be given to help qualified patients receive discounted medications through patient assistance programs. Free medical screenings will be offered on the second day of the surf contest, Saturday, November 27, 2010 at Makaha Beach (alternate site – rest camp).

“It’s been an ongoing goal of ours to provide services to the community,” said Jann Sunn-Carreira, founder and president of the Rell Sunn Education Fund, a public benefit nonprofit corporation organized and operated exclusively for charitable, scientific, and educational purposes.

“This is an excellent way to assist our residents in Makaha and the Wai’anae Coast who may not have health insurance,” added Rep. Maile Shimabukuro, who Sunn sought out to help inform the public about this event. “The concern is that people without health insurance will wait until the last minute to seek medical treatment. This program is preventive, and I encourage everyone to come down.”

The 35th Annual Rell Sunn Menehune Surfing Championships will be held on Nov. 26 – 27, 2010 at Makaha Beach beginning at 6 a.m.

Also this year, Rell Sunn Education Fund will be hosting an Aloha Jam II concert on Sunday, November 28th on the North Shore. Entertainers include Henry Kapono, Amy Hanaiali’i, Kaukahi, Ten Feet, The Honolulu Lounge Lizards, The Young Coconuts, and Te Lumanaki.

“So many professional surfers got their start at Rell Sunn’s Menehune Surf Contest,” Shimabukuro said. “I am so happy that Jan and her family and friends are continuing the tradition of this surf meet to continue to give young surfers the chance to ‘make it big’ in surfing.”

Thursday, November 18, 2010

"We the Powerful" heads to Maui in December

The Hawaii State Legislature's Public Access Room (PAR) will be conducting free "We the Powerful" workshops across the state instructing folks on how they can participate effectively in the legislative process. With today's technology, there are easy ways to find information, testify on bills, track legislation, and more. There are ways in which neighbor island people can be heard and make a difference without having to physically be on Oahu.

"We the Powerful" heads to Maui in early December. Mark your calendars for the following dates and locations:

Monday, December 6th
6:30 p.m.
Pukalani - Tavares Community Center

Tuesday, December 7th
6:30 p.m.
Kihei Community Center

Wednesday, December 8th
6:30 p.m.
Kahului Community Center

Thursday, December 9th
6:30 p.m.
Wailuku Public Library

Virginia Beck, the Assistant Public Access Coordinator, will lead the workshops. PAR is a division of the State of Hawaii's non-partisan Legislative Reference Bureau. For additional information, neighbor island residents may call toll-free: 984-2400 ext. 7-0478. Or email at par@capitol.hawaii.gov.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Coffee Borer Meeting Today

Rep. Clift Tsuji and Carol Okada, Plant Quarantine Manager at the State Department of Agriculture, appeared this morning on Hawaii News Now to discuss the infestation of the Coffee Berry Borer and its impact on Hawaii's coffee industry. See video here.

The meeting to discuss a possible quarantine is scheduled today at 1:30 p.m. at the Plant Quarantine station.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Wahiawa Health Fair

Rep. Marcus Oshiro (District 39 – Wahiawa, Whitmore Village, Launani Valley) announced today that the Wahiawa Hongwanji Mission, Wahiawa General Hospital, and community service providers will be participating in the 2nd Annual Health Fair to share information to the community on ways to achieve and maintain healthy lifestyles for all ages.

Place: Wahiawa Hongwanji Mission Social Hall – 1067 California Ave.
Date: Saturday, November 20, 2010

Time: 8:00 a.m. to 12 noon

“Having good health is the most important thing you can do for yourself and your family,” said Rep. Marcus Oshiro. “Without your health, you are unable to help others or achieve anything else in life. The Health Fair is a way for people in our community to get the information they need to get and stay healthy, and to determine which path to health, traditional, non-traditional, or a combination of both, is right for them.”

In additional to traditional and non-traditional medical practitioners, the Hawaii Blood Bank’s bloodmobile will be there and Wahiawa General will be providing health screenings and flu shots. Here is a list of providers scheduled to be at the health fair:

Aged to Perfection, Aloha Chapter Headquarters, Ask Acupuncture, Child and Family Service, Hawaii Blood Bank, Hawaii Department of Health, HSMA, Hawaii State Medical Reserve, Hawaiian Healer, Ilima at Leihano, International Culture and Friends, Kapuna Monitoring System, Meadow Gold Dairies, Office of the Ombudsman, The Plaza, Project Dana, St. Francis Healthcare System, State Farm, Wahiawa General Hospital.

Friday, November 12, 2010

How to save a life

Are you AED certified? Well, 7-yr-old Logan is! Logan, shown here with Assistant Sergeant-at-Arms Lon Paresa, went through and passed the training. Here's what happened.

Logan's mom, Reena, who is the Office Manager for Rep. Blake Oshiro, signed up for the training last month. Logan tagged along, and the AED trainer, Pam Foster, invited Logan to participate. Logan learned the signs of a heart attack, how to call 911, how to administer CPR compressions, and how to use the defibrillator. She passed the training and received her Heartsaver AED certification card.

AED training is encouraged for school-aged children. Here's Logan with her proud mom, Reena! FYI - Automatic External defibrillators (AED) are located at the State Capitol on the Chamber level (ewa side), and the 2nd, 3rd and 4th levels (mauka side lanai).

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Hawaii Civil Air Patrol Provides Valuable Service

Rep. Marilyn Lee and Colonel Stanley Y. Fernandez

This Sunday, watch the latest episode of the Kukui Connection on the Hawaii Civil Air Patrol. Rep. Marilyn Lee talks with Colonel Stanley Y. Fernandez, the Director of Government Affairs. The show airs at 4 p.m., November 14th on Olelo Channel 54. It repeats on 11/28 and 12/12.

I previewed the show and was amazed at how little I knew about this important volunteer organization. For one thing, it is indeed all volunteer. The Civil Air Patrol's mission is three-fold: to provide emergency services, to operate a cadet program, and to conduct air space science research. They have nine airplanes that are used to warn the public of impending danger and to participate in search and rescue.

All of the 45 pilots are volunteer and come from civilian or military service backgrounds. Airplane maintenance and radio operations are conducted by volunteers as well. Training is critical and the Civil Air Patrol is in need of funding to provide more training as the organization has not received steady funding from the legislature since 1996.

Colonel Fernandez also presented Rep. Lee with a certificate inducting her into the Civil Air Patrol's Hawaii State Legislative Squadron. Rep. Lee now adds the rank of Major to her many accomplishments.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Camp out for camping permits

Two fathers from Wai’anae will join a crowd of other camping enthusiasts as they camp out overnight at the Kapolei Satellite City for a chance to be first in line for camping permits during the Thanksgiving weekend. Morris and Thurston Kamealoha, two brothers, have also gathered 400 signatures for a petition urging the Department of Parks and Recreation to increase the number of city camping permits, especially on the Wai’anae Coast where there are currently only a little over 30 spots.

“Camping is how we would like to spend our quality family time,” wrote the two brothers, Morris and Thurston Kamealoha, in a letter to Rep. Maile Shimabukuro asking for her support of the petition. “Quality family time is what keeps the love in the family strong.”

“You literally have to camp at the Satellite City Hall if you want to camp,” said Rep. Maile Shimabukuro (D-45th). “This has been going on for years, and now it’s even harder for Wai`anae Coast residents because they have to travel to Kapolei rather than go to the Wai`anae Satellite City Hall to get camping permits for our own beaches on the Wai`anae Coast.”

Currently, there are only 12 campsites (weekends only) at Maili Beach Park, 12 campsites at Nanakuli Beach Park, and 6 campsites (summer only) at Lualualei Beach.

While the state does not allow camping at its parks on the Wai`anae Coast due to the public’s complaints about the homeless, it does issue free one-year overnight access permits at Keawaula Bay, aka “Yokohama,” which allow up to 10 people to fish, star-gaze, etc. overnight. Under the state’s Keawaula permit, groups are allowed to use “EZ corner”-type tents with up to 2 sides, but may not use pop-up or 3-4-sided tents, sleeping bags, or cots.

“There is a draft permit for recreational wilderness camping at Makua Beach which the state is considering,” said Wai`anae harbormaster William Aila, Jr. He added that people can request the one-year Keawaula access permits at any time, either by contacting DLNR’s State Parks division or him, at 697-7095.

“We truly believe that if there are more camping sites, there would be more permits to give out and a better chance at getting one,” the brothers said in their letter to Shimabukuro. “There are so many beautiful pristine beaches, but law forbids overnight camping on over 75 percent of our Wai’anae Coast beaches.”

Standing in long lines for a camping permit only to be denied a spot because all spots fill up is another grievance brought up by the petition.

On behalf of her constituents, Rep. Maile Shimabukuro contacted the Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) and discovered, through an official statement from Acting Director Lester K.C. Chang, that the city is working on an online permitting process, considering fee charges for camping permits, and modifying city camping rules. The City and Council would also have to approve fee charges for the camping permits.

“DPR is projecting to implement the (online permitting) system in the Fall of 2011,” Chang wrote in a letter to Rep. Shimabukuro. “Several milestones need to be cleared for that to occur. A City Ordinance change must pass the City Council to allow for the reservation system to be implemented with the fees. An online system needs to be selected and staff trained. Once the system is online, this should eliminate the long lines present campers are experiencing.”

However, before the city can even consider increasing the amount of camping sites, the new online system would need to be implemented. There are no current plans to increase the amount of camp sites anywhere on the island. “Once the online system has been implemented, the issue will be revisited,” Chang wrote in the letter to Shimabukuro.

“This petition represents the community taking action on something that is important to their families,” Rep. Shimabukuro said. “I’m encouraged that the city is already working on an online permitting system. I hope that they will seriously consider the suggestion of opening up more camp sites for our Ohana.”


People camping in Kapolei for Camping Permits - Hawaii News Now 
Petition urges more permits for camping - Star Advertiser

Monday, November 8, 2010

Latest "buzz" on Kona coffee berry borer

Quarantine to be considered for Big Island

The Advisory Committee on Plants and Animals, attached to the State Department of Agriculture, will meet on Wednesday, November 17, 2010 to consider one or more quarantine zones on the island of Hawaii to prohibit the importation of green coffee beans. At issue is a serious infestation of the Coffee Berry Borer in local crops reported by Kona Coffee farmers. The pest infestation was confirmed by the United States Department of Agriculture – Agriculture Research Service Systematic Entomology Laboratory.

The purpose of the meeting will be to hear testimony from the Hawaii coffee industry and, if warranted, to develop a request to the Board of Agriculture to adopt an interim rule restricting the movement of green coffee beans into the state. The meeting will be held on:

Date: Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Time: 1:30 p.m.
Place: 1849 Auiki Street, Plant Quarantine Station Conference Room, Sand Island.

Persons wishing to provide testimony may do so in the following ways:

· Via email to: Carol.L.Okada@hawaii.gov
· Via fax to: 808-832-0584
· Drop off or Mail to: 1849 Auiki Street, Honolulu, Hawaii 96819

Oral testimony will be accepted at the meeting. Testifiers must provide a contact phone number if they wish to receive confirmation that their testimony has been received.

“It is imperative that interested parties provide testimony either in person or in writing as this will determine the committee’s recommendation to the Board of Agriculture by the end of the month,” said Rep. Clift Tsuji (District 3 – South Hilo, Panaewa, Puna, Keaau, Kurtistown), Chair of the House Committee on Agriculture. “The coffee industry in Hawaii has a history spanning 200 years, and we don’t want to see it collapse because of our inattention to contain or eradicate the coffee berry borer infestation.”

It is unknown at this time how the coffee berry borer will affect Kona coffee yields and quality of the product. The coffee berry borer (Hypothenemus hampei) is considered the world’s most destructive coffee pest. Researchers estimate that the damage caused by the coffee berry borer worldwide is about $500 million per year in a global industry worth $90 billion per year.

Currently, there is no provision in Hawaii Administrative Rules that addresses the coffee berry borer or that restricts movement of coffee relative to this pest. An interim rule may be adopted in the absence of effective rules if a situation is dangerous to public health and safety or if the ecological health of flora and fauna is endangered as to constitute an emergency.

The Plant Quarantine Branch of the DOA has requested the adoption of an interim rule to prohibit the movement of coffee plants, plant parts, unroasted seeds, and used coffee bags out of a quarantine zone in the Kona area of the island of Hawaii, except by permit. The Advisory Committee on Plants and Animals may accept or amend the request and submit their findings to the Board of Agriculture which is scheduled to meet in late November. The committee may also reject or defer the request.

Violators, under the proposed rule, would be guilty of a misdemeanor and fined not less than $100. The maximum fine would be set at $10,000. The interim rule would be valid for no longer than one year.

FACT SHEET – Coffee Berry Borer

Current Condition:

· The Department of Agriculture has surveyed about 65 sites statewide. Of these sites, 21 are infested with the coffee berry borer.
· All infested sites are in the Kona area of the Big Island.
· The infested zone includes the area from mile marker 29 on Hwy 190 (Mamalahoa Hwy) and mile marker 93 on Hwy 19 (Queen Kaahumanu Hwy), south to mile marker 62 on Hwy 11, east of Naalehu.
· In addition to the infested zone, the DOA has reports from about 100 individual farms that may be infested.
· The coffee berry borer lays its eggs in the coffee cherry and as the eggs develop into larva, the larva feed inside the coffee bean. The bean may be further damaged by secondary fungal, bacterial and insect infestation. The combined damage can reduce yield, lower the quality and destroy the entire bean.

Eradication/Control Strategy

· There are no chemical insecticides available in Hawaii that can effectively control coffee berry borer. As the pest lives inside the fruit, chemical control strategies are limited.
· While it is difficult to contain the coffee berry borer, even with the establishment of quarantine zones, the dissemination of the contamination can be retarded for many years through improved pest management practices. The pest spreads through human activity.

Coffee in Hawaii

· There are 6,500 acres under cultivation statewide, with annual production running between 6 and 7 million pounds.
· Kona has produced coffee continuously since the early 1800’s and supports nearly 600 independent farms. Farms average 3 acres and only a few have 50 or more acres. Total Kona coffee acreage is over 2,000 acres, producing more than 2 million pounds in most years.
· Kauai has the largest coffee orchard in Hawaii and in the United States with 3,000 acres in production.
· Maui has several small coffee farms spanning from Kaanapali, the slopes of Haleakala, and an organic farm in Hana. Maui has a total of 500 acres of coffee planted on converted sugar cane lands.
· Oahu has over 100 acres of coffee in Wahiawa and Waialua.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Traditional Chinese Medicine

Christina Kapothanasis, Traditional Chinese Medicine practioner, and husband with Rep. Marilyn Lee

Rep. Marilyn Lee's weekly public affairs series "Kukui Connection" continues with a new show this coming Sunday on "Traditional Chinese Medicine". The guest will be Christina Kapothanasis, a licensed acupuncturist and practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine, who became fluent in Mandarin and studied in China.

Ms. Kapothanasis gives an overview of diagnostic and treatment methods, including tongue and pulse diagnosis. She describes the ways of achieving balance between yin and yang, hot and cold, stagnation and dampness, and imbalances of chi in the blood and various organs.

She also talks about the use, availability, and safety of Chinese herbs.

The show airs on Sunday, November 7, 2010 at 4 p.m. on Channel 54. It repeats on November 21st and December 5th.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Rep. Marilyn Lee to Head National Women's Legislative Network

Rep. Marilyn Lee speaks on the House chamber floor on Sine Die 2010

State Rep. Marilyn Lee has been named President-elect of the Women's Legislative Network at the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL).

According to the NCSL, after the 2010 general election, women comprise 23.3% of state legislatures across the country. Here are some facts of note:

Democratic Party women lawmakers - 1,051

Republican Party women lawmakers - 651

Third Party women lawmakers - 6

Non-partisan women lawmakers (Nebraska) - 11

Percentage of women in state legislatures:

Top Five - Colorado (38%), Arizona (34.4%), Hawaii (32.9%), Washington (32.7%), Minnesota (31.3%)

Bottom Five - South Carolina (9.4%), Oklahoma (12.8%), Alabama (13.6%), Mississippi (14.4%), North Dakota (14.9%)

After the recent election, there are 18 women in the Hawaii House of Representatives, and 7 women in the Hawaii Senate. The total of 25 out of 76 legislators equals 32.9%.

For more information, click here.

Rep Choy is HDA Legislator of the Year

Congratulations to Representative Isaac Choy for being selected as the recipient of the the 2010 Hawaii Dental Association Legislator of the Year! The award is given to the lawmaker who has made significant contributions to improving dental health in Hawaii.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

"We the Powerful!" heads to Kauai

The Legislature's Public Access Room (PAR) has scheduled a series of FREE workshops next week on Kauai. The workshops are part of PAR's popular "We the Powerful!" presentations to communities across the state prior to the start of the legislative session. They are designed to demystify the State lawmaking process and to demonstrate ways that people can speak out at the legislature without having to travel to the State Capitol.

Here's what you will learn:

*Overview of the people at the Capitol, what they do, and how and when the lawmaking takes place

*Easy ways to add your voice and ideas to the legislative process

*Handy tips for finding the information you need

*Assistance in writing and delivering effective testimony, either at the Capitol or from your home island.

Here's the schedule for Kauai:

Wednesday, November 10, 6:00 p.m., Koloa Library Conference Room

Monday, November 15, 6:00 p.m., Lihue Neighborhood Center, 3353 Eono Street

Tuesday, November 16, 6:00 p.m., Hanapepe Library Conference Room

Wednesday, November 17, 6:00 p.m., Princeville Library

Thursday, November 18, 6:00 p.m., Kapaa Library Conference Room

For further information, Kauai residents may call toll free at 274-3141, ext.7-0478 or email par@capitol.hawaii.gov.

Contact PAR to make arrangements if special assistance or services such as sign language interpreters are needed.

Learn more about PAR at http://hawaii.gov/lrb/par

Monday, November 1, 2010

Jobs for the 2011 Legislative Session

The House and Senate have posted their notices on the Hawaii State Capitol website for job opportunities during the 2011 legislative session. Click on the links to see what's available and how to apply.

House jobs are listed here.

Senate jobs are listed here.